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Sidebar: Glicksman in China

Professor Leon Glicksman recently completed a project, funded by the Alliance for Global Sustainability, the V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation, and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, to recommend sustainable building strategies for China. Buildings account for only 18 percent of China’s total energy consumption, but that number is on the rise, according to Glicksman, as the country builds more than 10 million new residential units a year. Glicksman originally intended to develop energy-efficient designs, with features like natural ventilation, for Chinese buildings. But during trips to Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen with researchers from Tsinghua University (Beijing’s equivalent of MIT), he says, “we saw poor construction quality, loosely fitting windows, buildings with enclosed balconies that end up with a greenhouse effect.”

“We changed our emphasis to simple design ideas and technologies,” says Glicksman, who taught classes in China for architects and developers. He and his Chinese collaborators have published a book of recommendations that take into account local materials and building methods, as well as what’s affordable.

Professor Leon Glicksman recently completed a project, funded by the Alliance for Global Sustainability, the V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation, and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, to recommend sustainable building strategies for China. Buildings account for only 18 percent of China’s total energy consumption, but that number is on the rise, according to Glicksman, as the country builds more than 10 million new residential units a year. Glicksman originally intended to develop energy-efficient designs, with features like natural ventilation, for Chinese buildings. But during trips to Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen with researchers from Tsinghua University (Beijing’s equivalent of MIT), he says, “we saw poor construction quality, loosely fitting windows, buildings with enclosed balconies that end up with a greenhouse effect.”

“We changed our emphasis to simple design ideas and technologies,” says Glicksman, who taught classes in China for architects and developers. He and his Chinese collaborators have published a book of recommendations that take into account local materials and building methods, as well as what’s affordable.

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